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One morning, after a TV show aired about slavery, some white classmates came in imitating the slavemasters, flinging the N-word like a blade.
He recalls his father—“so mean and so respected”—sleeping with a loaded rifle after offending a white man inside a store.
In Calhoun County, Mississippi, where social segregation persists, Welcome Table members have grown more comfortable sharing their histories.
From left: Judy Edwards, Robert Stewart, Nida Pittman, Dudley Davis, Bozzie Edwards, Donna Cole.
Maybe they get shared within the confines of a household, or within a tight-knit single-race community.
In a place like Calhoun County, where social—if not legal—segregation persists, they certainly don’t get told to strangers of other races. • • • In 2013, a group of black, white, and Latino Calhoun County residents—originally convened by a local nun—invited the University of Mississippi’s William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation to help facilitate an ongoing dialogue about race.
When Davis was in his 30s, he warmly greeted an African-American friend with a handshake.